An aggressive, co-ordinated plan focused on innovation, competitiveness and learning will create good jobs and a strong economy, Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, Nov. 23. “jobsHere positions Nova Scotia to compete and succeed in the global marketplace,” said Premier Dexter. “It will help companies be more innovative. It will prepare workers of today and tomorrow to land high-paying jobs, in leading-edge companies so they can stay here and build a life. It will ensure Nova Scotia’s traditional sectors play a significant role in the economic future of this province.” jobsHere, focuses on three key priorities: growing the economy through innovation; helping businesses compete; and learning the right skills for good jobs. Each priority is supported by several new and existing programs and initiatives. “We need to make sure our businesses are innovative and competitive and our people have the skills and learning for good jobs,” said Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris. “This is a plan for all areas of the province and for all sectors of the economy. Everyone has a part to play.” Over the past 20 years, Nova Scotia’s economic growth has been lower than in any other province in Canada. As the economy went global, competition intensified, technoloy took off, and Nova Scotia was not able to keep up. “Today, Nova Scotia companies face competition from around the world,” said Ray Ivany, president of Acadia University “Our future prosperity depends on how innovative and productive we can be and how well we compete. To do this, we must create a culture where research and development is encouraged and rewarded.” A new workforce strategy that will help workers build new skills, adapt to new technologies, maximize their career opportunities, and learn about their employment options will be part of jobsHere. The province will also change the Manufacturing and Processing Investment Credit into the new Productivity Investment Program to help encourage investment in training, because human capital is as critical to a growing future as equipment and processes. “Our people are our greatest asset and we need to continue to develop our workforce and create good jobs here in Nova Scotia for educated and skilled workers,” said Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. “I’m happy to see jobsHere focus on high-value jobs, and the training that is needed for our province’s workforce to attain these jobs.” The province recently announced its intention to explore forming a privately operated venture capital fund, targeting opportunities throughout Atlantic Canada that will encourage innovation for businesses. In addition, it will launch a new innovation and productivity partnership to ensure activities and investments are co-ordinated and focused on a common goal. “This plan focuses on adding value to our products in order to compete in the global marketplace,” said Ann Janega, vice-president Nova Scotia division of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. “It creates a pathway for local businesses to capitalize on Nova Scotia’s assets, such as location and skilled workforce, and break into foreign markets with products that will be of value to the consumers.” As part of jobsHere, a new international commerce strategy will be developed to help Nova Scotia companies build international capacity and strengthen the province’s access to international markets and networks. Government will also establish an international growth fund to help Nova Scotia companies adapt, compete and succeed internationally. jobsHere challenges governments, businesses, educational institutions, unions and associations, non-for-profit organizations, communities and industries to work together toward a single vision for economic growth in the province. jobsHere is a product of consultations with numerous stakeholders, including local businesses, industry associations, economic council and Donald Savoie, who wrote a report about improving economic development in Nova Scotia. “I encourage all Nova Scotians to take the time to read jobsHere,” said Premier Dexter. “It provides the actions, details and commitment of this government to make sure that Nova Scotians have good jobs so they can be successful right here at home. Nova Scotia now has a blueprint that allows business and government to be in control of our economic future.” For more information visit www.gov.ns.ca/jobshere .